Papa’s Dashavataar…

Once upon a time America used to live by the motto, ”Father  knows best” now they are in a state where they are lucky if “Father Knows he has children” they’ve become a nation of sperm donors and baby daddies, with the movie Vicky Donor, and increasing romanticizing of surrogate parenthood of the Khans I wonder if we are going  the same way.

One of tenets of Hypnotherapy made me realize, that we learn our suggestibility or how we process information that drives in our behaviour and attitude. This is usually learned from the Primary care giver the mother, while how we put this process out as our behaviour pattern is sexuality and that learnt from the secondary care giver, the father.

Twenty five odd years of dental practise and about 5years of counselling I realized, no matter how much we glorify the all sacrificing  a fathers involvement makes the real difference whether in the areas of intellectual development, sex-role development or psychological development. Most kids do better when their relationship with Dad is close and warm. With the changing lifestyle father not at home has returned to the Indian scene.

The sons learn directly from their father’s behaviour towards their mother while the daughters learn from the behaviour of the mother towards the father. In a way what we become on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they are not trying to teach us, you know those little scraps of wisdom, that’s what makes us.

As I look  back my father has played many roles in my life,  he has been my Guru, guiding me in path he started me on the path of questioning  religion and rituals, and then understanding the spirituality that lay beyond it.  I could tell him my inner most thoughts and secrets without fear of being judged, though the times that we grew up did not present a lot physical threat, Papa definitely gave me enormous emotional security, financial security and an assurance if physical security was required it would be provided. So somewhere he became my protector.

The very essence of masculinity is providing, if we look at the dynamics of a family the father is the protector and provider while the mother is nurturer. Through my growing years, and even later my father has ensured that I am provided for. He taught me the skills of accounting and budgeting.

As my teacher my father opened my eyes to the world. I experienced that life flowed and death was part of the story. I learnt that people have their stories and their drama we are just mediums for them to enact it.  it was not much of academic learning as much as seeing him talk to the illiterate farmer from the back of beyond Meeyaru with the same respect he gave the director of operation eyesight universal.  From him I learnt that one should stand by what one believes even though it meant paying a price.

Then there were times, when we kids played house, and papa would come home from work and he would drop a folded paper and say he was the postman. I have never resolved this puzzle as why he would refuse to play another role, other than postman. Of yes once he said he was the garbage collector,  no sir, he did not teach me intellectual games, but he taught me the right way to climb up a tree, and how to walk on the roof without falling. I like to think of papa in that avatar as a playmate.

Eventually when i got married and had my own kid, papa now became a companion who guided me on how to balance my family and my kids, he did not really believe too much in my mother’s kids first philosophy, he told me if you are sorted only then can you sort your family.

He was my trainer when it came to clinical practise and my talent developer when it came to recognize my skills; my artistic skills didn’t impress him much he was more into pushing me towards an intellectual challenge. He kept telling me, you are good surgeon but its uncanny ability to connect the dots that is your skill as a clinician. There were times when he would throw symptoms at me, and ask me to diagnose, if they were challenges there were times when he genuinely asked me for my clinical opinion. Particularly when it came to psychosomatic issues.

I guess I have to acknowledge the procreator aspect of dad. But there was something he once told me when we were discussing about roles in families, everyone has a role to play and each role leads at times, and serves at another time.  One should be able to admit one’s own limitation and weakness with humility. He called it being a servant.

I have finally redeemed the right give my father a hug, because I accept his evaluation that I am I and

Papa’s tears and fears remained unseen, his love may be unexpressed, but his care and protection remains a pillar through my life.  What happened to the mind after bereavement made no sense until later… what the mind does after losing one’s father isn’t to pick a new father from the world, but to pick a new self to love them with.

Papa I think I now redeem myself, and I have earned the honour to give you a hug, a hug that thanks you for being there, so subtly, a hug that comes from the confidence of finding myself..

“I am participating in the ‘#HugYourDad’ activity for <a href=’; target=’_blank’>Vicks</a> in association with <a href=’; target=’_blank’>BlogAdda</a>.

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